Remembering VJ Day
Saturday 15 August 2020
We are grateful to member Lieutenant Commander John Davies who sent us his personal account of VJ Day, which will be published in full in the forthcoming ARNO Newsletter. To commemorate today’s 75th anniversary of VJ Day, here is John’s 100-word extract which will also be included our special ARNO Centenary 100 Words publication featuring members’ submissions from across the decades.
Memories of VJ Day
The battleship Duke of York sailed for the pacific and was at Manus when the atomic bombs were dropped. Admiral Sir Bruce Fraser joined and we became Fleet Flagship. At Guam, news came of Japan’s wish to surrender, but terms had to be agreed. Admiral Fraser was to sign on behalf of the British Empire: I was moved from British Plotting Room to Cypher Office. We steamed through the biggest fleet the world has seen. Two thousand planes flew over. In the morning we went into Tokyo Bay and anchored next to Missouri, so had a good view of the surrender.
In Japan fifteen years later I saw the war memorial at Kyoto, a large statue of the Buddha alongside a temple in which all who were killed in the Japanese war were recorded. The citation read:
THE WORLD’S UNKNOWN SOLDIER
WORLD WAR II
All honour to him, friend or foe,
Who fought and died for his country!
May the trajedy of his supreme
Sacrifice bring to us, the living,
Enlightenment and inspiration,
Fill us with ever-mounting zeal
For the the all-compelling quest of peace,
World peace and universal brotherhood